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Question #56:
  • My 19 year old brother has Asperger's Syndrome. He is currently a senior, with a GPA of 2.80,and an ACT score of 17. He is mainstreamed in high school. He is very intelligent and I believe he can handle college life if the class size is small. I am worried about his low ACT score. Are there schools in IL that do not have strict ACT requirements for admission? (courtesy Karina Carani, Highwood, IL)
Answer #56:
  • Although Asperger's is a complex and serious syndrome, many students with this diagnosis (AS) can definitely handle the intellectual demands of college life as long as someone helps them manage and organize the social and organizational side of daily living.
    I have worked as a private consultant to identify schools for many students who have nonverbal learning disabilities and AS, and have seen such students graduate from college and even go on to graduate programs. The secret is to find a school which has a supportive and comprehensive LD resource program so that your brother can have a place which will provide help for all his concerns, not only academic ones.
    Without knowing your brother, it is difficult to know what type of environment would be best for him, but in IL, you should look into:
  • Barat College in Lake Forest
  • Roosevelt University in Chicago
  • University of Wisconsin, Oshkosh & Whitewater branches. Although all of these schools do require standardized test scores, these scores will not be the primary indicators by which your brother's candidacy for acceptance is considered.
    In order for your brother to make a successful transition to college, you are going to have to do a lot of work with residence hall supervisors, dining hall people, counseling center staff - both academic and personal, and even other campus support staffers, such as the chaplain, the head of a specific club or group which interests your brother, and perhaps even some outreach organizations which might try to help your brother deal with the overall college experience.
    Everyone with AS is different. Make sure that you know your brother's needs and that you are well equipped to advocate for him before you help him choose the school he will attend. If this is too overwhelming for you, you should seek the assistance of an educational consultant experienced in working with students with LD.
    Many students with Asperger's Syndrome are capable of managing the cognitive demands of higher education as long as they have support in managing the complex demands of the rest of life.
    EDUFAX provides services for the Learning Disabled Student.
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